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Friday notes: Kelly, Corwin, Recruiting and more

Jan 8, 2010, 7:30 AM EST

(As we get into the routine of the offseason, I’ll try and turn Fridays into a link-dump/notes type of day. (If I remember.) If you’ve got an article you think is worth sharing, send it along to me at KeithArnold@NBCSports.com)

* While I wondered what was taking so long, Brian Kelly announced his two coordinators yesterday: Bob Diaco on defense and Charley Molnar on offense. Here are a few decent quotes from the two coaches, courtesy of Notre Dame’s Sports Information Department:

Diaco on looking at the defensive personnel:

“I really haven’t. I’ve had a chance to read about the personnel, such
as tangible traits. The standards: height, weight, speed, etc. I’m not
too interested in people’s opinion on those guys. I’m interested in
meeting everyone and seeing everyone. I’m sure everybody has something
they can contribute positively to the organization. I’m looking forward
to getting involved a lot more and learning a lot more about each guy.
I know they switched systems midstream through the Coach Weis era, so
I’m sure there is personnel to fit whatever need there is.”

Diaco on recruiting:

“I love recruiting. I’m passionate about it. Most predominately, I’ve
recruited New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Florida. Early in my
coaching career I was in Chicago and I know that area well. I’ve also
recruited in Ohio, Michigan and Virginia based on where I was coaching
at the time. Now, recruiting is recruiting. It doesn’t really matter
where you go. If you’re asked the questions, you have the answers. If
you say you’re going to get the information to the coach or whomever,
you promptly get the information to that individual. If you’re
diligent, detailed, consistent and forthright, it won’t matter if you
are recruiting in Connecticut or Texas or California. That’s what
people are looking for.”

Molnar on coaching quarterbacks:

“I’m a very fundamental coach when it comes to footwork and throwing
mechanics. I’d like to think that quarterbacks under my guidance have
improved dramatically over time. When we first get the quarterbacks,
we’ll try to just teach them the system and have them play within it.
As they mature and get a better grasp of what we do, then we will allow
spontaneity.”

Molnar on his immediate plans:

“For the remainder of today I’ll be immersed in studying our
committed football players and also other players that we are
recruiting that have not committed to Notre Dame. We’ll also be making
my travel plans for what prospects I plan to visit in the very near
future. By dinner tonight, I expect to be on a plane heading somewhere
to see some guys we need to attract to Notre Dame.”

I’ll talk more about these two as the days come, but I’m pretty high on both coaches, as Irish fans should be.

* Our friends over at Blue-Gray Sky did a great breakdown of the players that are left on the roster. The whole article is worth reading, but the Irish return 62 percent of the minutes played from last year, with the big losses being at quarterback (only 11 percent return), safety (2%), and offensive line (43%). Conversely, the Irish return 94 percent of the snaps at running back, 100 percent at tight end, and 86 percent on the defensive line.

* Pete Sampson at Irish Illustrated got an update on blue-chip recruit Seantrel Henderson, who has Notre Dame in his final five schools. Seantrel has kept things quiet in regards to recruiting, but expect Ohio State, USC, and Notre Dame to be in it until the end. Notre Dame’s two most important recruits are going to be head coach Brian Kelly, who needs to make a quick impression with Seantrel and his parents, and wide receiver Michael Floyd, who graduated from Cretin-Derham Hall, where Henderson is a senior.

* The Subway Domer did a nice job on an eligibility chart, utilizing some nifty Google spreadsheets to lets us know who’s coming back and who’s not. Kelly’s still got Brandon Walker and Ryan Burkhart returning as senior kickers, with Nick Tausch already cemented as the starter.

* It hasn’t been reported anywhere yet, but rumors are swirling about former defensive coordinator Corwin Brown ending up at Florida, under no-longer-on-a-leave-of-absence coach Urban Meyer. While Corwin’s star faded this season as the defense went down the tube, this would be an incredible get by Meyer, who had a ton of attrition from his staff. If this is true, Brown will give him another coach on staff with intimate knowledge of South Bend and Notre Dame and a guy on staff who is an excellent recruiter. With Polian on the West Coast and Brown in Florida, the Irish could run into both these guys when going after elite talent coast-to-coast.     

  1. TLNDMA - Jan 8, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    I realize Polian and Brown have good reputations as recruiters. If we’re going to worry about ex-ND coaches in recruiting battles, we have a boat load of them out there, after the last nine years. What negatives could they know of, that other coaches wouldn’t? (everyone knows it’s cold in South Bend)
    In sales, if you have something of quality to sell, that the buyers can use, you’re going to do OK. If recruiting is a sales job, then ND should do just fine.

  2. Jan - Jan 8, 2010 at 11:20 PM

    Well said…not worth worrying about. Charlie is acknowledged as a top notch recruiter and viewed negative recruiting as a pet peave. To recruits (with visions of a future NFL career) that viewed South Bend as too cold, Charlie reminded them that New England, NY, NJ, MN, WI, Chicago, Detroit, etc. would have to be eliminated from their future plans as too cold to play….and so on for other ND “negatives”.
    ND has it’s quality points to offer, other university programs have their quality points to offer. Just as in sales, each “buyer” gets to pick the best fit for them. It’s good if former ND coaches waste their time focussing on negative selling ND, instead of positively portraying their “offering”. The approach doesn’t work in life outside of football and won’t work in college recruiting either.

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